WASHINGTON (AP) — In a surprise twist to the decade-plus effort to ease access to morning-after pills, the government is lowering the age limit to 15 for one brand — Plan B One-Step — and will let it be sold over the counter.
Today, Plan B and its generic competition are sold behind pharmacy counters, and people must prove they’re 17 or older to buy the emergency contraception without a prescription. A federal judge had ordered an end to those sales restrictions by next Monday.
But Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved a different approach: Plan B could sit on drugstore shelves next to condoms, spermicides or other women’s health products — but to make the purchase, buyers must prove they’re 15 or older at the cash register.
But not next to Sudafed. Because people might buy Sudafed to commit drug crimes, but will never buy Plan B to cover up statutory rape or sexual abuse.
Also, “surprise twist”? FDA succumbs to intersection of current admin politics & Pharma lobby. Yeah, I’m so surprised.
The FDA said the Plan B One-Step will be packaged with a product code that prompts the cashier to verify a customer’s age. Anyone who can’t provide such proof as a driver’s license, birth certificate or passport wouldn’t be allowed to complete the purchase. In most states, driver’s licenses, the most common form of identification, are issued at age 16.
How long will that be implemented? I’m sure it will be seen as an undue burden on 15 year olds who can’t afford ID. And are only girls/women allowed to buy it? Of course not.
The FDA said Tuesday that Teva had provided data proving that girls as young as 15 could understand how Plan B works and use it properly, without the involvement of a health care provider. Teva plans to conduct a consumer-education program and indicated it is willing to audit whether stores are following the age requirement, the agency said.
Just laughing at that paragraph. So much comedy.
From the Manufacturer-supplied full product information:
Ectopic pregnancies account for approximately 2% of all reported pregnancies. Up to 10% of pregnancies reported in clinical studies of routine use of progestin- only contraceptives are ectopic. A history of ectopic pregnancy is not a contraindication to use of this emergency contraceptive method. Healthcare providers, however, should consider the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy in women who become pregnant or complain of lower abdominal pain after taking Plan B One-Step. A follow-up physical or pelvic examination is recommended if there is any doubt concerning the general health or pregnancy status of any woman after taking Plan B One-Step.
I wonder if that will be in Teva’s educational program.
I had a bunch of tweeted rants on this topic this morning, but lucky for y’all, Twitter seems to be glitchy, so I won’t list them here.